Event Title

A New Age of Finding Phage: The Meachum Story

Faculty Advisor

Richard Alvey

Graduation Year

2023

Location

Center for Natural Sciences

Start Date

4-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 10:00 AM

Description

Wreaking havoc as microscopic beings, bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, capable of wiping out mass populations. This alarming behavior has made it a necessity to understand viruses, how they operate, and the global impact they hold. An important part of this phage research is identifying the various bacteria strains phages can successfully infect. Rhodobacter capsulatus (Rc) strain YW1 is a bacterium susceptible to infection by phage, currently having 6 identified clusters of phages that can infect it. Our research behind phages that can infect this strain led us to discover the Rc phage “Meachum”. Originally having extracted Meachum from Bloomingdale, IL, we performed isolation analyses and phage cultivation to create a sample of Meachum. Upon producing this, we were able to extract phage DNA from this phage and use it, along with a series of lysogen-hunt trials and TEM analyses, to properly group and characterize this phage into the RcC phage cluster. This information was also used to find the closest phage relative of Meachum, Oceanus, with 98.24% sequence similarity. Thus, our findings resulted in a newly identified Rc phage that accelerates a field of virology never explored before.

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Apr 4th, 9:00 AM Apr 4th, 10:00 AM

A New Age of Finding Phage: The Meachum Story

Center for Natural Sciences

Wreaking havoc as microscopic beings, bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, capable of wiping out mass populations. This alarming behavior has made it a necessity to understand viruses, how they operate, and the global impact they hold. An important part of this phage research is identifying the various bacteria strains phages can successfully infect. Rhodobacter capsulatus (Rc) strain YW1 is a bacterium susceptible to infection by phage, currently having 6 identified clusters of phages that can infect it. Our research behind phages that can infect this strain led us to discover the Rc phage “Meachum”. Originally having extracted Meachum from Bloomingdale, IL, we performed isolation analyses and phage cultivation to create a sample of Meachum. Upon producing this, we were able to extract phage DNA from this phage and use it, along with a series of lysogen-hunt trials and TEM analyses, to properly group and characterize this phage into the RcC phage cluster. This information was also used to find the closest phage relative of Meachum, Oceanus, with 98.24% sequence similarity. Thus, our findings resulted in a newly identified Rc phage that accelerates a field of virology never explored before.